Focus on Family Meals

Focus on Family Meals

When it's mealtime with your children, whether it be a family meal or just getting them fed dinner before a hangry meltdown happens, where is the focus? If you're anything like most parents, it's on your child's eating.

Even families without fussy eaters tend to praise children for eating well, chide them for eating what they consider to be too little or urging another mouthful. This is totally understandable - after all, as a parent, one of your main jobs is to keep your children well nourished. This tends to backfire unfortunately.

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Intuitive Eating for Kids

Intuitive Eating for Kids

Why do you eat? If you’re like most people, for plenty of reasons I imagine: to be social, it’s breakfast time/ lunch time/ dinner time, you’re bored, you’re tired…More often than not, hunger isn’t the main driver of our eating and we don’t always recognise when we’re full. Human bodies have exquisitely designed systems which tell us when we need food and when we should stop eating, so why is this?

One of the reasons is that over time, most children are taught to prioritise external cues for eating over their own innate feelings of hunger or lack thereof. There are a number of problems with this but the main one is that if we don’t teach children how to recognise hunger and fullness then the habit of overeating can become problem that is a lifelong struggle to overcome. Hunger and fullness don’t make as much noise as the school bell and social cues may be many times more pressing than our own intuition.

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Why You Should Let Your Child Play with Food

Why You Should Let Your Child Play with Food

"Don't play with your food." We've all heard it, many of us have said it. But why? Playing with food can offend for several reasons; it's considered poor etiquette in many cultures and if you play with it and don't eat it, it's a waste. 

But play is the way children learn about new things. An unfamiliar food can become familiar if a child is allowed to smell it and feel its texture before committing to eating it. Even if they don't eat it the first or second time, the act of becoming familiar with a food is crucial - many children won't eat novel foods. 

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If at First You Don't Succeed, Try 15 Times

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try 15 Times

It's understandable that as a busy parent, you don't keep offering the same food if your child rejects it - after all, you want them to eat something and there aren't enough hours in the day to prepare food that just ends up on the floor or in the bin. 

If your child is not otherwise fussy, it might not be worth offering a certain food many times - children often reject foods which have caused them stomach upsets in the past, for example, and this might be due to an intolerance or allergy. 

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3 Opportunities to Expose Baby to New Flavours

3 Opportunities to Expose Baby to New Flavours

Research shows that increased exposure to foods results in increased liking and acceptance of the same foods. The best time to start exposing your child to a variety of flavours is before they’re even born.  Foetuses swallow amniotic fluid which reflects what their mum eats, so a diverse diet during pregnancy is a great idea. This will mean that you’re more likely to cover all your own and baby’s nutritional bases as well as have a head start on getting your child to eat well further down the line. 

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